Be careful what you wish for—just ask Wonder Woman fans. Three years after their Amazonian princess triumphed on screen, she returned amid a flurry of descent, division and criticism with Wonder Woman 1984, which dropped on HBO Max on Christmas Day. Perhaps the most anticipated film of 2020, the first year without a superhero film in what feels like approximately 200 years, Wonder Woman 1984 is also the most divisive.
DC movies usually split audiences, but Wonder Woman was different. Patty Jenkins’ 2017 period epic was the first DC-based movie to connect with audiences and critics. Batman v. Superman, Man of Steel and Suicide Squad have their fans, but the grim tone, cruel violence and bloated run times seemed to turn most casual fans off. But Wonder Woman hit like a Kryptonian spaceship on Smallville, and fans came flocking to admire their new hero.
A lifelong fan of the character, Renny helped found the Facebook group “Gal Gadot Wonder Woman DCEU Fans” five years ago. The group grew steadily, garnering more than 257,000 followers and becoming one of the largest Wonder Woman communities on Facebook.
Unlike other entries into the DC film catalog, Wonder Woman was a more old-fashioned hero, one who, you know, saves people. This aspect appealed to fans like Renny. The movie was hit, collecting more than $800 million worldwide and becoming the first DC movie to win over critics and fans. “The reaction to the movie was extremely positive, from long-time fans to new,” wrote Renny in an email. “I do believe a lot of fans that prefer a more traditional ’superhero’ style.”
Ohmstar, a moderator on /r/WonderWoman agrees. “The consensus on the first Wonder Woman movie was incredibly positive,” he wrote via email. “Overall, the community felt that Diana’s character was represented beautifully on the screen. She was smart, capable, compassionate, hopeful, and honest. These are central characteristics to who Wonder Woman is. It was amazing to see it portrayed on the…
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